As the countdown keeps going towards the big 4 0, less then a month now eeeeeeeeeekkk, and I have been attempting to get on track exercise wise and as more and more videos pop up on line for body image it can't help but definitely be on my mind ... body image. I think it's one of those things on most peoples minds!
As a child body image was not on my mind! I don't remember worrying about how the latest fashion looked on me! it didn't help that bell bottoms were a one fits all style :) I wore a school uniform to school right up until I left private school and entered the big scary world of public school half way through grade 10. I had a great childhood and worrying about my figure and how I fit in was never on my radar. Thank goodness!
As a young preteen I did however become increasingly self aware.... I developed early and I was aware that at my school I was the only one in my grade doing so. That was awkward at times and I learned to cross my arms over my chest and stoop my shoulders. No one teased me or made fun of me to my knowledge... I just knew what was happening to me wasn't happening to them and it was obvious.
A couple of years later I became a little chubbier... hormones... and while I wasn't considered overweight there is a definite change from my grade 7 and grade 8 picture. At this age the self conscious behaviours start as acne comes into play, trying to get my bangs as sky high as I could, it was the 80's after all!! and image started to become important. I still didn't have any "diet talk" in my regular vocabulary though.
When I was a young idiot in my late teens and twenties I don't remember hating my body but I certainly criticized it a LOT, like a lot a lot.... it was almost the thing to do .... even if you liked your body or an aspect of your body you probably would never say but say the opposite! how dumb is that?! Today I would LOVE to have that body back!! Even up to a couple of weeks ago I didn't realize how tiny I was until my 14 year old put on my grad dress from 1991 and my wedding dress from 1995 and they JUST fit.... like just fit her and when I wore them they were a little loose on me.
Over my 20's and 30's and having babies and a bunch of miscarriages my weight has flexed up and down .... no where near where I was before I was 25 years old though! My general attitude towards myself was that I was always needing to lose weight and could never be really satisfied with where my body was at. Even if I wasn't dieting if I was around "skinny" women I would act like I was. I would say no to dessert to save face or a possible snicker that I thought could be procured by simply eating those no no carbs. I would eat them when I got home instead!!
When my girls were all small I know that I rewarded myself with treats after they went to bed... it was my - I survived another day of many small children - type of attitude. I would sneak treats and gobble down my still favourite peanut buster parfait from Dairy Queen and told myself I deserved it all with a smattering of guilt that I really shouldn't be eating this.
Now I am approaching my 40th birthday... living a whole new chapter of my life and I am still struggling with my body image. My butts too big, my arms are getting heavier, my face...ok honestly the cheeks that got pinched as a baby are still very much still there! and now they are FALLING!!! .... I am currently wearing a size 11-12 ( I have some size 13 on standby at all times in my closet ) and while there are times that I am ok with that there are many times where I am not and I feel like I should be working harder, pushing myself more, and dieting like a mad woman cuz I should probably be a size 8!
The voices that are in my head I feel are screaming at me from tv adds and magazine covers. The images plastered all in front of us that show skinny and lean (and mostly tall and I at 5' 4 3/4" tall...not so tall here!) The Facebook status' the twitter links .... push harder move more and while I agree with the message that we need to be healthy, the pressure to be thin and that is what is considered beautiful, the fact that I can't shop at some stores now cuz the clothes are made for twiggy like figures, the fact that low fat, sugar free items are the all the rage.. even though when you read the labels you would be surprised just how "low" they really are!!... and I feel like even if I wanted to be comfortable in my own skin, I can't.
I know I am not alone, I can't be the only almost 40 year old to feel this way .......
to be continued....